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Things to do in Mankato, Minnesota for College Students


Mankato, Minnesota is a beautiful town to explore. Located in Blue Earth County, it’s repeatedly ranked as one of the best college towns in the U.S., being home to several excellent schools: Minnesota State University, Bethany Lutheran College, and Rasmussen College. 

With enough cool attractions and places to visit, the list of things to do in Mankato is long. But there is one activity you might have overlooked

Here’s a list of the top things to do in Mankato, Minnesota — AND why axe throwing should be #1.

Things To Do Near Me: Mankato, Minnesota’s Top Activities

Mankato Breweries and Bars

Like any college town, there’s a lively bar scene. Most of them are located in the heart of the entertainment district. One of the best places to visit is the Mankato Brewery. You’ll get to taste craft beers and see how they’re brewed. 

Outdoor Activities 

If you’re an avid hiker, jogger, cyclist, or outdoor enthusiast, you’ll love how many parks and trails Mankato has to offer. Rasmussen woods and the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail are great places to explore. 

Along with hiking trails, there are plenty of parks to choose from, even in Northern Mankato. There are even more awesome spots to visit, like Minneopa Falls, if you’re willing to make a quick drive out of town: 

  • Bluff Park 
  • Red Jacket Trail Park
  • Trail Creek Park
  • Good Year Trail
  • Hiniker Park

Museum, Art & Cultural Centers

The Carnegie Art Center and Blue Earth County Historical Society are two hot-spot locations for those who love taking in artistic beauty. 

There are a few others too: 

  • Hubbard House 
  • Ottesen Museum
  • Betsey-Tacy Society

The Most Notable Mentions

If you love sports, shopping or games, check out the following options: 

Here’s Why You Should Make Axe Throwing Part of Your College Experience

We all know what the so-called “college experience” entails. Let’s not get into it. But for most people, it involves two things: alcohol and social events.

JD’s Hideaway in Mankato offers opportunities to enjoy THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS (while throwing axes, of course). 

So take a break from the frat parties, the studying (or should we say cramming), and the casual bar scene with run-of-the-mill pool tables, dart boards, and music.

Try a local venue that has all of the charms of a normal restaurant bar, including pool tables, darts, and arcade games. AND axes!

When it comes to drinks, endless options are available. With over 75 drink options to choose from, you’re definitely spoiled for choice when it comes to beers and cocktails.

Axe Throwing Offers a Unique Social Experience 

Give it a go — give it a throw. After all, it’s something different. How often do you get to throw axes into a wooden target board while drinking your favorite beer or cocktail? After you try it, you’ll definitely have a story or two to share. 

Did we mention this? It’s not just a novel experience. The act of throwing an axe relieves stress and might be the perfect break from the repetitive day-to-day activity of shuffling between school and work. 

It’s cathartic.

Throwing a handheld axe or hatchet into a porous wooden board and hearing a satisfying “thud” just seems to hit the spot. 

What’s even better is that you can do it ALL YEAR ROUND. Even in Mankato’s ice-cold winters, you can drop on by, warm up, loosen up, and throw a couple of hatchets at the bullseye. 

Comfortable Outdoor Patio Seating

When you’re done throwing, you can set your axe down and take a load off. It can be hard to find nice outdoor seating where you can listen to live music, have a few beers and talk with friends. But our open-layout patio is the perfect spot to do just that. 

Let’s face it, Mankato isn’t exactly known for having a ton of outdoor cafes, quant spots you can relax and sip your favorite beverage outside (granted, the cold winters are likely to blame).

So what’s the next best thing?

A comfortable, well-lit outdoor seating space. 

outdoor image of JD's Hideaway in Mankato

Experience a New Restaurant in Mankato

Last but not least, JD’s offers a place where you can try out new food. The food is delicious. We offer shareable plates with delicious, fried foods like pizzas, burgers, and wings slathered in JD’s signature wing sauce. 

Book Your Axe Throwing Lane in Mankato, MN.

Curious? Questioning? Raring to go? Whatever your disposition, walk-ins at JD’s Hideaway are always welcome. Or you can book your party in advance. Contact us for more information today!